Giselle Sheer Bloch and Devan Nambiar

Giselle Sheer Bloch

Giselle Sheer Bloch

Devan Nambiar

Devan Nambiar


Learning about gender diversity: an introduction to trans identity and expressions

October 10th, 1:00-3:00 pm

Interested in deepening your knowledge about transgender (trans) people and communities? Join Open Minds on Oct. 10, 2017 at the 519 for an introduction to trans identity, expressions and experiences.

Our speakers, Giselle Sheer Bloch and Devan Nambiar, will share their knowledge from personal and professional perspectives, and answer your questions along the way.

Cost: $35
Location: The 519
519 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y 2C9



Devan Nambiar is the Coordinator, Education and Training for Rainbow Health Ontario, a program of Toronto’s Sherbourne Health Centre that is mandated to improve the health outcomes of LGBTQ people in the province. Devan has been working in the gay, ethno-racial and HIV sectors for 20 years. In 2002, he was recognized with the Ontario AIDS Network’s honour roll award, and in 2006 he was the recipient of the Canadian AIDS Society Leadership Award.

Devan will give us an overview of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) identities in North America, situated within a global perspective. He will also invite you to explore the differences between sex and gender; sexual behavior and sexual orientation; and gender identity and gender expression. From Devan, we’ll learn about LGBTQ terms, definitions, and health disparities affecting trans and gender-diverse persons. Devan will also present multimedia that is created by trans people and centres trans voices.

Then we’ll hear from Giselle, who is the parent of a trans youth, a board member of Toronto PFLAG, a co-facilitator of the Transceptance peer support group, and a member of the LGBTQ Care Steering Committee at Mount Sinai hospital.

Giselle will speak about her family’s gender journey, and how, when her child announced that he was trans, she sought to understand what this meant to him, what it would mean for their family, and how they could best support him through his transition and beyond. Giselle will share her own personal struggles, how she overcame them, her son’s evolution, and where they are today. There will also be a Q&A portion. Join us to open your mind and increase your knowledge, comfort and confidence in discussing trans identities and expressions.

Rainbow health organization

Rainbow Health Ontario, a program of Toronto's Sherbourne Health Centre, works to improve the health and well-being of LGBTQ people in Ontario, and to increase access to competent and LGBTQ-friendly health care services across the province. We do this by providing education and training to providers, advocating for public policy change, sharing information and consulting with service providers and organizations.

Bio - Giselle

Giselle is a Board member of Toronto PFLAG, a volunteer-run charitable organization. Toronto PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of LGBTQ persons, their families, friends and allies through support, education and advocacy.

Giselle is a co-facilitator of TRANSceptance, a peer support group for parents and caregivers of trans youth and young adults, hosted by Central Toronto Youth Service.

Giselle sits on the LGBTQ Care Steering Committee at Mount Sinai Hospital, which strives to provide their Fertility Clinic’s LGBTQ patients with superior care.

Giselle has spoken at several large events, including Mayor John Tory’s annual Leadership Breakfast, and St Michael’s Hospital Department of Family Medicine Grand Rounds. She will be speaking in November in Montreal at the annual Family Medicine Forum, the largest gathering of family physicians in Canada. Giselle also speaks to students and teachers in schools across Toronto when invited.

Giselle devotes much of her own spare time connecting with and counselling other families that have reached out to her privately on where to find support and how to access services for their trans kids.

Giselle is a married mother of three unique and diverse adult children - one of whom identifies as gay, another identifies as trans and the third identifies as straight. In her spare time, she has a busy work schedule operating her personal training business.

Bio - Devan

Devan Nambiar, MSc. coordinates Rainbow Health Ontario(RHO)’s training and education initiatives and delivers most of RHO's core training. He has been working in the gay/ethno-racial MSM/HIV sector for 20 years. In 2002, he was presented with an honor roll award by the Ontario AIDS Network and in 2006 he was the recipient of the Canadian AIDS Society Leadership Award.

In his professional capacity, he is a guest lecturer since 2010 at medical schools and at a School of Pharmacy on LGBTQ clinical and cultural competencies. Devan provides input on community based research, policy reviews and has served on numerous boards and ethics review committees.